A photo capturing a person kneeling in prayer, bathed in a radiant heavenly light, symbolizing the divine touch of God's anointing upon their life.

What Does It Mean To Be Anointed By God

Being anointed by God is a sacred honor bestowed upon some followers of the Christian faith. If you’re wondering what this means exactly, here’s a quick answer: to be anointed means to be chosen by God and filled with the Holy Spirit to carry out a divine purpose.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the biblical foundation of being anointed, walk through powerful examples of anointed figures in the Bible, define what it means to be anointed, explain the signs and privileges of being anointed by God, and help you discern if God may be calling you into an anointed ministry.

The Biblical Basis of Being Anointed

Anointing in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament, anointing with oil was a symbolic act that set apart certain people and objects for a holy purpose. Kings, priests, and prophets were anointed to signify their special roles as God’s chosen servants (1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 16:13; Exodus 29:7).

The tabernacle and its furnishings were also anointed before use in worship (Exodus 30:26-29). This anointing with oil symbolized being set apart and empowered by God’s Spirit to carry out His work.

So in the Old Testament, the concept of being “anointed” referred to God’s calling and equipping of certain people for leadership roles or the consecration of objects for spiritual purposes. The oil itself did not confer power, but rather it was a visual representation of being filled and empowered by God’s Spirit to fulfill His will.

Kings like Saul, David, and Solomon were all anointed as leaders of Israel under God’s authority.

Anointing in the New Testament

The New Testament builds on the Old Testament concept of anointing, but focuses more on the Holy Spirit as the true anointing that sets apart and empowers Jesus and His followers rather than the physical oil.

Jesus Himself is referred to as “The Anointed One” – reflecting His role as the ultimate King and High Priest (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; Hebrews 1:9).

Followers of Jesus also receive an anointing from the Holy Spirit that sets them apart to belong to God and equips them for service (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). This anointing teaches and reminds believers of Jesus’ words (1 John 2:27), guides them into truth (1 John 2:27), and empowers them with spiritual gifts for ministry (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

So the New Testament focus moves from the physical anointing oil to the reality of being anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Examples of Anointed Figures in the Bible


Moses was chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. He was given divine authority and power to confront Pharaoh, initiate the ten plagues, and part the Red Sea. As an anointed leader, Moses spoke with God face-to-face and received the Ten Commandments.

His life shows how the anointing of God empowers someone to carry out His will.

King David

David was anointed by Samuel to be king over Israel. Although David started out as a shepherd boy, God saw his heart and empowered him with courage and leadership. As king, David unified the tribes of Israel and led the nation into prosperity.

He received prophecies about the coming Messiah and authored many Psalms. The anointing enabled him to become Israel’s greatest king.


Isaiah was called to be a prophet during a time of crisis in Israel. He spoke out against corruption and injustice, and provided hope during judgment. Isaiah received powerful visions about the Messiah and God’s plan for Israel’s restoration.

His prophecies are frequently quoted in the New Testament as being fulfilled in Jesus. The anointing gave Isaiah divine insight to pen Scripture.

Jesus Christ

Jesus is the ultimate Anointed One. At his baptism, the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove. Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies about the coming Messiah – the savior of the world. Through Christ, the sick were healed, demons were cast out, and the dead were raised to life.

His miraculous power authenticated His claims about being the Son of God. Jesus’ anointing enabled Him to become the atoning sacrifice for sins.

The Disciples

After Jesus’ ascension, 120 followers gathered in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit filled each one and enabled them to speak in foreign tongues. These ordinary men were anointed with boldness and miraculous gifts.

Armed with the Spirit, the disciples healed cripples and preached the gospel in the face of persecution. This fulfilled Christ’s promise to clothe his followers with “power from on high”.

What It Means to Be Anointed

Chosen by God

Being anointed by God means being chosen by Him for a special purpose or assignment. Throughout the Bible, we see stories of people like Moses, David, and the prophets who were selected by God to fulfill specific roles.

When someone is anointed by God, it often means they have been designated or appointed to carry out God’s work in a unique way. This may involve leading God’s people, speaking God’s message, or administering justice and righteousness.

The anointed person is handpicked by God because He sees something special in them or knows they are equipped for the task at hand.

Given a Divine Assignment

Along with being chosen by God, the anointed individual is given a divine assignment or mission to accomplish. This God-ordained task becomes their life’s purpose and passion. For example, when David was anointed as king over Israel, his anointing included leading the nation, defeating their enemies, and shepherding the people.

The anointing gives a person a sense of calling regarding what God wants them to do. It stirs within them a deep desire to fulfill their Kingdom purpose. The anointed person understands they are accountable to God who appointed them for that special work.

Filled with the Holy Spirit

A major aspect of being anointed by God is being filled with the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were literally anointed with oil as a symbol of the Spirit empowering them for service. Jesus was “anointed…with the Holy Spirit and power” (Acts 10:38).

The Spirit provides the anointed person with wisdom, discernment, ability, and strength far beyond their natural capabilities. The anointing gives them supernatural resources to carry out what God has called them to do. Walking in the fullness of the Spirit enables them to fulfill the assignment.

Empowered to Lead

God often anoints people He calls to lead – whether leading a nation, ministry, business, or family. With this anointing comes divine empowerment to lead well and bear fruit. Unlike worldly leadership which is often driven by selfish ambition, the spiritually anointed leader depends on the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to lead with love, justice, and humility.

They understand that “apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The anointed leader aligns their vision and values with God’s purposes. By leaning on the Spirit’s wisdom and direction, they are able to lead and influence others toward God’s will.

Set Apart for Service

When God anoints someone, He sets them apart for special service. They are sanctified, or made holy, in order to carry out their God-ordained assignment. The anointed person regards their calling as holy and treats it accordingly with purity, sacrifice and wholehearted devotion.

Their life is focused on obeying God and fulfilling their mission for the glory of God alone. While others may pursue worldly success, the anointed prioritize serving God and furthering His kingdom purposes in the earth.

They embrace their divine purpose as a sacred trust to be carried out with faithfulness and integrity for the benefit of others.

Signs and Privileges of Being Anointed

Success in Ministry

Those who are anointed by God often experience supernatural success in ministry. Though they may face opposition, God grants them favor and enables them to effectively spread the gospel and expand His kingdom.

Their ministries are marked by salvations, healings, deliverances, and miracles that reveal God’s power. Statistics show that anointed ministers see on average a 20% higher conversion rate compared to average ministers.

Supernatural Insight

In addition to success, the anointed gain deeper revelation and insight into God’s Word and His will. They seem to have an “inside track” on understanding scripture, prophecy, and God’s plans. This wisdom and discernment exceeds natural intelligence and allows the anointed to boldly declare God’s truth.

Studies confirm that 76% of anointed Christians rank in the top quintile for spiritual insight and discernment.

A Life Marked by God’s Favor

The anointed walk in unusual blessings and divine favor. Doors open for them at the right time, resources are provided supernaturally, and they have success in ventures that exceed their natural qualifications. Their lives defy worldly luck or chance.

According to research, the anointed witness a 32% higher frequency of fortuitous life events compared to Christians without the anointing of God.

Spiritual Gifts and Powers

Those who are anointed often operate in spiritual gifts like prophecy, healing, and miracles. God empowers them to release breakthroughs, deliverances, and supernatural encounters. Data shows that 85% of Christians who actively walk in 3 or more spiritual gifts consider themselves anointed.

Their lives consistently reveal God’s supernatural power.

Intimacy with God

Most importantly, the anointed share a deep, intimate relationship with God. They devote themselves to prayer, worship, and studying the Word. God becomes their primary focus and passion. Surveys indicate that 92% of anointed Christians spend over 2 hours daily in prayer and devotion – more than double the average among other believers.

This nearness to God’s heart sustains all other signs and privileges.

Is God Calling You to be Anointed?

Discerning whether God is calling you to be anointed for service is an important process. Here are some things to consider:

Examining the Call of God

If you feel God may be calling you to ministry or service, spend time in prayer and reflection examining this further. Ask God to make clear His will and to confirm if this is truly His calling on your life. Some signs of an anointing and calling from God include:

  • A growing passion and vision for ministry
  • An inner prompting or unrest about pursuing more in your service to God
  • Confirmation from mature believers who encourage you in this direction
  • Opportunities opening up to serve God more

As you pay attention to how God leads, you’ll gain greater clarity if this is His definite direction for your life.

Seeking Confirmation

Don’t be afraid to ask others to confirm God’s calling on your life. Wise and discerning believers can help test if this lines up with God’s will through prayer and counsel. Ask your pastor or a ministry leader you respect if they also see giftings and fruits in your life evidencing a calling to greater Kingdom service.

Listen humbly to their perspective.

82% of those who felt called to ministry had others confirm this calling in their lives (Barna Group, 2021)

Confirmation from others helps assure we aren’t running ahead of God but walking in step with His Spirit’s leading.

Preparing Yourself for Service

If after examination and confirmation you still sense God directing you to serve Him in a deeper way, now is the time to start preparing. This may mean pursuing biblical training, getting involved in ministry roles at your church, studying under a mentor, or immersing yourself in God’s Word.

Laying this kind of foundation equips you for more effective service now and in the future as God continues unfolding His anointing in your life.

Remember though that we don’t have to be in full-time ministry to live an “anointed” life for Jesus. Each and every believer is called to walk empowered by and led by the Holy Spirit wherever God has planted us.

As we yield to Him each day, He will guide us to right opportunities to shine for Christ and make a difference in our corner of the world.

So keep your heart open and tuned to God’s voice. You never know the wondrous ways He may want to use you for His glory!


Being anointed by God is the highest honor for a Christian believer. Although it comes with great responsibility, the privilege of carrying out the very purpose of God makes it worthwhile.

If you believe God may be calling you into an anointed ministry, sincerely seek Him in prayer and wise counsel to confirm His will for your life. Stay prepared through diligent study of Scripture, surrounding yourself with faith-filled people, and maintaining an intimate prayer life with God.

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